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Burn the Stars
09-28-2020, 07:34 PM
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#1



Esmeray de Agnor Valencia
She would awake without noise. Her vision temporarily blurred as she found herself in the familiar surrounding of her home and the familiar face of her guard on the delicate and intricate weaving of the rug. His ashen back gently rose for a few seconds, only to fall with equal slowness before repeating the process again as the sun's dying light flittered through the sliver between the curtains, illuminating the small, white dust particles in the air with an orange hue.

Her legs moved without the need of her mind and she found herself looking down at his rather peaceful and sleeping body. She wanted to reach out and gently stroke the side of his face with a softness her father had never taught her. She wanted to be the first thing those dual colored eyes saw when they opened and her name to be the first word to escape his breath. A scene out of the book that the amateur writers would fabricate. Somewhere along the way, she had developed a selfish wish. A hope that he would never find love in this lifetime. For she feared that the woman that would catch his eyes and eventually steal him away from her, or worse yet, it be an unrequited love as she could do nothing but watch from the sidelines. A foolish fear, but one nonetheless.

But her wants and what she did were two different things.

Her body passed his and their eyes would never meet in that moment in time. As she made her way to the window beside the door, a cold, steel wall formed itself around her chest as if to protect herself from others and herself. One colder than the stone walls around her.

Esmeray's eyes flickered to the courtyard where maids and guards would subtly — or so they thought — slack off as the current head of house averted their gaze. Their faces jubilant as a cluster of handmaidens and female servants surrounded the guards as their eyes glinted with mischief. Their body language would betray everything as the occasional female would find some miniscule reason to draw herself closer to the broad figures of the guards. Whether their flirtation be an act of genuine interest or mere playful teasing, it was a relationship Cassius and she would never have and that thought made her a little envious of those less fortunate than herself.



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09-28-2020, 11:29 PM
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#2



Cassius Dumonte
Sunlight filtered into the foreign room small flecks of dust floating through empty space. The warmth of the sun was something he was familiar with as he often slept at his ladyship's doorway to protect her as night was when all wolves were most vulernable. Because of this his sleep state was something light and even a breeze too strong could lull him from it's dark embrace. When Esmersay shifted and rose from her nest but she seemed to pause. He felt her presence there and it was both warm but unfamiliar to him. Under his heavy lids his eyes danced below wondering what exactly she was doing so close yet so far?

Moments passed like eons and finally her pawsteps led her to the window. Slowly the dark wisps of his lashes ascended upward toward his brows in slow blinking motions. The red of his gaze had thinned out to simply border the more dominant soft oceanic shade of blue. His limbs felt a certain sort of heaviness and he simply watched after her. Watching as the sunlight warmed her flanks and reflected light against the strands making them appear even more glossy if possible. She looked like a goddess. From his angle he could barely make out the side of her face but it was perfectly shaped as if a god put her form into motion after decades of grooming a piece of clay to perfection. In a way - she was is. In the most important way she was not. Seeing her like this exposed, intimately in a way no one else could still gave him a pinch of satisfaction in the recesses of his chest.

One by one Cassius's limbs stretched out quietly before he slipped onto his worn and bruised paw pads and set after her form coming to stand to her right side. "Esmeray," his voice whispered her name softly as if still held by the confines of sleep. His muzzle stretched forward to reach into the sunlight that streamed from the window remarking with a hum at the warmth. "How are you feeling?" He pursuited the question with his head tilting to take in the sights of her well rounded jaw and eyes of soft ice. In the sunlight she was even more remarkable. His lips tilted up in a soft grin as he gently swooshed his tail against his flank. "Hmm.. I see - Well enough to creep on the affairs of your house are you? Those maids have no shame, I swear, they even turn my cheeks red sometimes!" His laughter was soft as he mused on looking at the scene ahead of them.


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09-29-2020, 01:22 AM (This post was last modified: 09-29-2020, 01:26 AM by Esmeray.)
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#3



Esmeray de Agnor Valencia
It was one of the few times where his voice did not summon her absolute attention. Her name would indeed be the first thing to leave his lips upon waking from his slumber, but it would strike no sudden turmoil in her chest or spike in her feelings. It was just a name.

How are you feeling?

The woman mused for a few seconds, deciding on what the appropriate response would be. As her eyes continued to survey the courtyard of idle servants, the twinge of jealousy she had felt earlier left no traces behind. Her voice was not unusually soft as it was when she had stumbled home with the after effects of the mushrooms lingering.

"Better," was what she would settle upon. Whether or not the meaning of the word be directed at her physical being or her mental being (both towards Satchel and Cassius), she would not exemplify upon. Rather, she would let her guard decide on which she mean, or even both. No matter the option, all of them were right. This morning was but a mistake and Esmeray saw that clearly now. The life she sought out had no room for the attention of another man. Her's only had one man in it and that was the one wearing a crown that would one day be her's — and they would not be sharing that crown.

It was better, in the end, to have Cassius away from the line of fire than to have him be caught in the crossfire. A seemingly honorable intent, to protect him, when it was nothing but a facade to monopolize him.

Enough to creep on the affairs of your house are you?
I swear, they even turn my cheeks red sometimes.


She could not help but wonder if the large male, despite his rather kind demeanor, was doing this on purpose to get some kind of response from her. If he was, he would not be given the satisfaction that evening. She would completely ignore the latter half of his commentary. "It is my duty to see that the servants and guards do their jobs well," she spoke, finally turning to him. There was a slight emphasis on the word guard, but her expression would not betray anything else. "They begin to solicit when they believe that will not be able to see or hear them," her head tilted slightly until she could see the group which had no obvious intents to resume their duties.

"Perhaps I have been too soft," she murmured with an uncanny gravity to the words. It seemed that in the end, the apple did not fall far from the tree despite how much it would roll. "I doubt they would've dared neglect their jobs had Virlar still been the head of the house." She paused momentarily before adding, but not looking at her own guard,

"I doubt this morning would have happened had he still been alive."

The words left a bitter taste on her tongue, but she could not exactly explain why. Perhaps a part of it being that she wished he were alive so she could've never felt the embarrassment that flooded her sleep only hours prior or that she blamed herself — and maybe even Cassius a little — for not stopping her before those ludicrous thoughts entered her mind.



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09-29-2020, 01:55 AM (This post was last modified: 09-29-2020, 01:56 AM by Cassius.)
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#4



Cassius Dumonte
It was unlike Cassius to ever ponder much on one thing. It was not in his nature to dwell on the meaning of words or their intention but as Esmeray spoke he found himself doing such a thing. Just better? As if she had poked the button of his machinery his right brow jerked up in a questioning look. Had she meant to confuse him with such an answer. Should he have just excepted that at face value that she was better in all ways. No - it didn't feel right to assume such a thing. The guard knew she was deeply complex in more ways than one and while that garnered his attention it also gave him a conflicting pang of fear.

"And here I thought it was my duty to oversee the other guards," he mumbled dejectedly and seem to deflate in front of her as his lower half slumped into a sit. The well groomed black tip of his tail flopping in front of his paws. He wanted to press her on what was going on in her head. Was she vexed with him? Had he done something? As if the thought had been thrown from a hundred foot cliff and onto his head. The male's lower jaw slackened. He'd rejected her. He hadn't even noticed it at the time but in the early morning she'd laid down her emotions and feelings. He'd simply swept her and them under a tidy rug and pretended he'd seen nothing looking back. Sure he'd been afraid of opening their roles up for whatever may have come. He truly didn't want to take advantage of her weakened state but looking back it looked like he'd rejected her.

He was so damn taken aback with the realization that he lowered his head a looked off in a dark corner of the room ashamed he'd missed this until this moment. "Esmeray, I'm an idiot," he interrupted her speech as he rose his head. Moving swiftly he caught her orbs with his own that battled for wills against her sight. "...I am a coward," he hummed the words out of his lips with eyes that strained on her face. "This isn't about the guards or the servants. You are cross with me." He spoke up with a determined and strong voice as he rose onto all four paws closing the distance between them. "You are everything I am not. My father would have had all his dreams come true if he bore you instead of me. You who are strong, competent and brave where I am complacent and fear change. Everday you look this world in the eyes and demand change." He paused briefly turning from her to look out over her nest plush with furs.

The reminder of the night before heavy on his mind. "To the world, I am not Cassius Dumonte of the proud and noble house. I am but a dishonored house. I have quite literally nothing to offer besides my life. How crude of me it would be to ask for something such as affection or... even love. --I-I know my place and I would not see your dreams smeared because of me," there he'd said it. With it came a swell of bile in his throat followed with a sharp sting of pain in his stomach. "I'd rather watch you fall in love with another and feel my heart cracking with apart with jealousy riddled longing. If it made your dreams reality." His lips tightened as his canines scraped down hard on his lower teeth. Dark claws stabbing into the stone that littered benealth his paws. Why Why...why did he say this all now? He was riddled with guilt and worst still his heart felt like it was going to rip from his chest and run into the mountains.

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09-29-2020, 02:19 AM (This post was last modified: 09-29-2020, 02:20 AM by Esmeray.)
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#5



Esmeray de Agnor Valencia
Her mask would not break under the spell of his pressure. Unlike herself, his body would express everything and his words the finishing touch. She wanted him to realize, and she succeeded. But triumph did not flood the crevices of her body like it did after winning a battle. No, it felt like staring into the waters on a starless night — bleak and empty.

. . . I am a coward.
You are cross with me.
How crude of me it would be to ask for something such as affect. . . or even love.
I know my place
I'd rather watch you fall in love with another man.


It was crude of him to request for her affection and it was cruel of her to deny it and expect him to follow her endlessly. But in the end, he knew his place and she knew his. But the last part, oh, the last part. How it would feel like a blade plunging into the depths of her chest, bypassing the wall she had so meticulously formed and cause waves in the once still and starless waters. It hurt, how it hurt. Not because he was wrong — not only because he was wrong — but because there was some truth in it as well.

The truth was, she was an ambitious woman who would be likely to find a husband of equal or higher status. But he would be a husband and not a mate because what would bind the two would not be love, but merely a vow in a cathedral under god's name. A being she did not believe in. A meaningless bond with nothing other than the two using each other for their gains.

It hurt because she knew. How she knew that there would never be another like Cassius. Never be another who she would share these intimate moments with.

"If you know your place.."

But she had sworn to herself.

"As my guard.."

That she would protect him and that this road would be loveless.

"And as my friend.."

Ambition and love were two things that could never mix.

"Then those words will never leave your mouth again."

Blue eyes morphed into ice. Her voice devoid of any emotion other than a rigidness that she had never used on him before. How she felt like she would crack — splinter from the base into a million shards. That the perfect, harsh being Virlar had so carefully created would break apart and show her tears. Never did she once quiver as she spoke, but it felt like an earthquake had shaken her core and left it to crumble and for others to witness the spectacle. She felt exposed — naked even. But she could not, she would not flee to hide herself for if she did, those words would lose meaning and give him a false sense of hope and he would chase after her until time itself stops.

She wanted to hold his hand like any other woman, but she couldn't. Affection meant weaknesses and he was her weakness. A weakness she knew she had to protect at all costs instead of extinguishing as her father had taught her. And how it hurt.

Not because of how cold her body felt against the dying light.

But because there would never be another like him because he was the one.

And in that moment, her mind whispered and he would never hear it:

I love you, Cassius.


I speak & Familiar speaks



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09-29-2020, 02:58 AM
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#6



Cassius Dumonte
For a brief moment he rode on a high - after all he'd shed the feelings that had been weighing him down for years. He's always cared for Esmeray but he'd refused to acknowledge his growing affection over the years. Pushing it down deep within him almost suffocating himself at the same time. Her gaze held no such rambling of love sparking in her soft azure orbs instead they grew a cold stillness. He could feel the air rushing from his lungs before her jaws even shifted to speak. In that moment revelation hit him once more - he'd been a complete and utter fool.

Knowing his place? Guard? Friend? He felt like the still frozen lake in the winter when the sun of the summer came to crack at the strong surface slanting and tearing it piece by piece. His heart's beating seemed to strum at a quicker rate as his eyes seemed to glass but no tears dared to reach the reddened skin that wrapped his eye. Why did he ever think voicing that would ever 'fix' whatever was going on between them. He'd felt more distant from her now than ever before. Perhaps she didn't need him like he needed her. Perhaps he was an airy headed guard who was getting too close for his own good and didn't know his place. Yes, I don't know my place clearly. I'm merely dirt among her paws. I deserve this. deserve to be trampled.

He suddenly felt hot. As if he'd been thrown into the vat of a blacksmith metal working station. The charcoal of his pelt felt like flames and he just wanted to tear the hide from his flesh and lay it down on the ground. He'd given Esmeray just about everything he had to offer. He could have broken from his shackles when that told bastard of father of her's died. Instead he reminded at her haunches to groom the staff to accept her reign without question and to protect her. His own father would have rathered he betray the Valenica house and sell it's secrets to broker the Dumonte name back into society life. He never cared for titles for himself. Since he was a young pup he was given to her like some sort of toy. She'd never abused him but she'd accepted him cared for him even and then at some point she'd cast him from her emotions.

It seemed he was the one who had blundered here. He had assumed these feelings that seized his heart up when she was nearby were mutual. He was a fool, or perhaps maybe he was just right and she too knew he was dead weight and didn't want to risk it. Either way neither answer soothed over the chaos that dispelled his mind and shook his nerves. His sides rose and fell as he simply breathed. It seemed to take all of the effort in his body just to damn breath. When had the air become so heavy? So hard to draw into his ragged lungs. Cassius wanted to shout, to scream, to just have an emotional outburst. That was not in his nature.

The war of his eyes seemed to have once more seen a change of pace. Crimson shook the realm of his irises pushing a narrow band of ocean blue against the darkness of his pupils which had expanded to nearly three times their typical size. Push it down. Push it all down. That is what he did, and damnit he did it best. He was adaptable in the sense a situation couldn't kill him at least not on the surface. "Don't you worry - Esmeray, I'll never forget that I am but your pet," he bit the words sharply and cold as the winter wind. "I won't entertain such a foolish notion again." Cassius's dark face turned to face her. His eyes seemed empty - cold - and unwelcoming. His muzzle clenched tight as teeth fought against each other for space as he ground the canines harder. He was nearly concerned a tooth would crack under the sheer force.

"If your ladyship permits, I'll be off to patrol the grounds before the night shift relieves the day shift?" he mumbled the words boldly yet the icy of his words matched her icy gaze. "Don't worry you are filling your father's pawsteps just fine, by the way." He'd turned off the switch in him that begged for her affection and without that. He was just empty. Empty as any one person could be. Empty of hope. Empty of love. Empty of ambition. Empty. The light from outside had begun to dim and he feared being locked in this close proximity anymore with her. A rage lurked under his stony farcade but it wasn't for her. It was for himself. He'd be sure he was punished for his failures, his inability to know his place. The dark tip of his tail hung low as he wondered what sparring the order would have tonight. He needed to feel the edge of blood on his teeth. To feel something other than....rejection?

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09-29-2020, 03:42 AM (This post was last modified: 09-29-2020, 03:42 AM by Esmeray.)
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#7



Esmeray de Agnor Valencia
Words never spoken would never be heard. You can not read what isn't written and that was today's lesson. Within her existed a disgusting mixture of emotions that threatened to tear her apart and those emotions grew until she felt as if someone had grabbed her very intestines and flipped them inside out. Or if someone had thrusted their hand into her chest and pulled out her glittering crimson heart only to find out it was pitch black and covered with her sins.

Don't you worry — Esmeray. I'll never forget that I am but your pet.

"I-"

I won't entertain such a foolish notion again.

Those dual colored eyes that once regarded her as a creature of the highest caliber now only glinted with disdain. She felt her fangs lock into place as she gritted her teeth, bile rising into her throat before she swallowed the bitterness down. So this was the price to pay for treason. Not the ropes in the Gallows that taunted her or the blade of the Templars upon finding out her malicious intents, but rather the cruelest form of torture she could not have prepared for.

But this was what she asked for and it was what she got. It would be hypocritical to say she did not expect such a response after giving him a curt response to the exposition of his feelings. He had lain it all out, all the cards on the table, all his trust and everything he had kept hidden. And what did she do? Did she gently return them or deny them with grace? No. She had fucking crushed them. Ripped them in front of his very eyes as her face remained placid and she did feel guilt — she was not a heartless creature. But despite her mistreatment of him, some naive and inconsiderate part of her expected him to grin and bear it for her sake.

If your ladyship permits, I'll be off to patrol the grounds before the night shift relieves the day shift.

Her eyes flashed back to his only to meet an equal battle of ice and fire.

Don't worry, his tongue rolled.
You are filling your father's pawsteps just fine, by the way.

She felt her toes curl and scratch the stone surface of the ground, sending a grating noise that she could feel across her body instead of hearing it. That, was the icing on the cake. The final drop in the cup. Despite what she had so nobly spoken about earlier to herself — about protecting him from herself and all of cliche words between — she would not tolerate this. It was an insult that would cut deeper that the scar on her own muzzle.

"I'm glad you think so," the words came as her muzzle twitched into a snarl. She knew not how to express sadness and so her sorrow turned into a vile anger. A twisted fury that she just wanted to plunge herself into the abyss. And into the abyss she would go because her vision would blacken as emotions consumed her and propelled her body forwards. All she could feel was a carnal need, not a lustful one but one derived from bloodlust and her own misguidance.

The next moments were a blur because the feeling of fur was what she would feel next under the paw pads. Somewhere along the way, her jaws had parted until it hurt to keep them that wide. Warmth radiated from his neck until she could almost taste it and she wanted to feel him between her jaws. Saliva fell from her teeth onto his lighter throat and her senses finally came back in weak waves.

The two of them were closer than ever, physically, but not mentally. His body beneath her's and the icy inferno that raged in her eyes quelled until they were a mere fraction of what she had shown in those few seconds. As she untangled herself from him, it felt as if something had snapped.

You're filling in your father's pawsteps just fine.

And then her voice broke. A soft, pitiful sound would escape her maw.

"Leave me alone tonight."



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09-29-2020, 04:19 AM (This post was last modified: 09-29-2020, 04:19 AM by Cassius.)
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#8



Cassius Dumonte
Her words were sharp like a knife against his exposed artery. She knew just how deeply to cut him with words. His charcoal paws were preparing to turn his back to her and stalk out but her lips had begun to quiver and form a snarl. He'd been too delayed to attempt to avoid her onslaught and instead stood still under her assault. From what he'd seen of her eyes she'd gone feral in that moment. Perhaps, she didn't want to be the cold relentless beast her father was? Or perhaps she thought she would be better off with him dead?

Cassius laid under her weight his neck outstretched for her canines to embrace. He truly didn't care anymore. If she decided to snap his neck would he even care? Without her to follow, to protect, was was life even at that point? The smooth stones under his back were a strong contrast to her warmth hovering over his chest in an display of power. He was weak against her and would always be so. He hated himself for how weak he was for this she-wolf. Especially, when in her eyes he was but a simple guard. Easily replaced and discarded as she saw fit. Her white tufts of fur seemed to mingle against the pale gray of his chest drawing together. They fit almost perfectly. It was a shame it had come to this embrace instead of one loving.

It was sick but he was savoring this moment. The heat of her breast connecting with his own. The warmth of her breath as she held his throat at her will between ivory canines. She was embracing him -- in a way. He would enjoy her warmth for a little longer. A second later a wave of cold air would replace her warmth as she pulled away from him. Her words stung his ears and they seemed to flicker in distress. Fine, have it your way. He seemed to mumble in his head. "I'm off - I wouldn't dream of disobeying you, Noble Valencia," he spoke the words softly but with a chill of air as slowly climbed onto his paws. Turning his back to her he began to slip through the door escaping into the courtyard ahead before disappearing into a thicket of greenery that led to the main exit of the estate. He needed to forget this day. . and quickly.

--cassius exit--

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09-29-2020, 05:09 AM (This post was last modified: 09-29-2020, 05:10 AM by Esmeray.)
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#9



Esmeray de Agnor Valencia
Petty was the word to describe the two of them. Petty, foolish and stubborn. It was clear — clear how the two broke a little more or chipped a little more at each word. But they wouldn't stop for they were prideful and in pain. Her back turned to him once more upon untangling the two. It confused her to see him stare back with such emotions swirling in his eyes. Hurt and pain, she could undoubtedly understand. But there was hated in those eyes and that was what woke her from her possession because all she could think of was where did it all go wrong?

It was a tormenting pain, the one she experienced. Far worse than any punishment that her father could hand to her for this pain did not subside. It felt as if she could do nothing about this knife slowly, so painfully slowly embedding itself into her. Her muzzle tied with twine and her body immobilized. All she could do was brace for the expected because if she didn't, she knew the tears would come and they would not stop.

I'm off — I wouldn't dream of disobeying you, Noble Valencia.

And he was gone and she would never stop him. The receding sound of his nails clicking against the smooth stone floor brought her both great discomfort and comfort all at once. When those doors closed and the clicks stopped, she broke down. She was alone and no one could hear her for once in her life, she felt her own emotions overcome herself.

She didn't know what it was or if there was a word for what she felt. She was frustrated as her fangs pierced the flesh of her lips. So fucking angry as in one fell swoop, papers, glass and jewels fell onto the ground in a beautiful and tragic fall. A banshee's scream escaped her lips like a frightful ghost and the sound would merge with the breaking of glass and other valuables until the ground became like the starry night sky and until she could not walk without being cut by the fractured edges of glass.

Her blue eyes whipped to what was remaining on the table, a small glass souvenir that Cassius had given to her as a child and her hold would be so violent that she swore the object defied the laws of physics by remaining intact. In reality, her hold was weak and her hands trembled in the presence of it and as she prepared to give it the same demise as all of her other belongings, all her feelings boiled into one — sadness.

Upon realizing that by pushing him away with the belief that she was doing it out of goodwill, she had broken the innocently beautiful relationship they had. Her legs gave way and the intricate glass object remained in her jaws. Crumpling into a small ball, she would hold it close to her chest as if the object could mend the pain that reverberated from within. But it wouldn't, it would only make it hurt more.

As the adrenaline began to cease, she realized that it was not rage that blinded her but rather the tears that were falling the entire time. And as the object pressed itself in her bosom, she could only wish that she would see his face the next morning and if not that morning than the next or the next.

Quiet sobs filled the stone room and never had her room seem more like a cage than that night as she realized her feelings of animosity had been misplaced. That night as she cried herself to sleep, she realized many things. She was never upset at him, never cross at him.

It was her.

She was disappointed in herself.





- Esmeray Exits -
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